When you’re wiped out from a day of street fests or patio drinking, there’s nothing better than kicking back by the pool. And while Chicago has no shortage of gorgeous beaches, sometimes the trek just isn’t in the cards. That’s where public pools are real lifesavers. Chances are, you’ve got a pool in your neighborhood, but you'll have to get there early to stake out a spot. Whether you’re swimming laps, splashing around with the kids or working on your tan, these public pools are all perfect spots to spend a summer afternoon.
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It's entirely possible to spend a day in Garfield Park without noticing that there's a pool nearby. Once you're done walking through the conservatory, head toward the gold-domed field house, where you'll find one of the city's most tucked-away swimming spots. Amenities: Showers, Locker Rooms
The only thing that trumps a Slip ’N Slide for summertime fun is a real live water slide. And we don’t mean a wimpy, five-foot wobbly wanna-be. We’re talking a full-fledged winding slide with sharp turns—one so high, you have to ascend a flight of stairs to get on board. Amenities: Water Slide, ADA Lift, Showers, Locker Rooms
Portage Park houses an Olympic-size pool so cush it played host to the 1972 Olympic swimming trials. The pool’s best feature is its 25-meter diving well, home to a diving platform so high you’ll have to reposition your swimsuit before you exit the water. Amenities: Water Playground, ADA Stairs, ADA Lift, Showers, Locker Rooms
Want to take a lunchtime dip? Union Park is less than ten minutes away from the Loop on the Green Line. You’ll be in the water by 12:15pm, which leaves you more than a half hour for aquatic horseplay before you have to head back to the office. Amenities: ADA Lift, Showers, Locker Rooms
A park this grand deserves an exceptional pool. How about a 50-meter heated pool surrounded by an enormous deck, complete with stadium seating. Connected to the main pool is a kidney-shaped side pool with a zero-depth entrance that gradually gets deeper. Amenities: Water Slide, ADA Lift, Showers, Locker Rooms